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Karcher Ethics Reform Bills Signed into Law

MARLBORO – Adding to her record as the leading ethics reform advocate in the State Senate, four ethics bills sponsored by Senator Ellen Karcher were signed into law today. The laws will aide in cracking down on corrupt officials and hold them accountable for their actions. Senate bills S-1318, S-1192, S-3008 and S-1662 are part of an aggressive ethics reform agenda that is turning the page on corruption and abuse in New Jersey.

“My career in public service began here in Marlboro, where I asked the tough questions and worked with the FBI to send corrupt officials to jail,” said Senator Karcher, D-Monmouth and Mercer. “When I arrived in the Statehouse four years ago, I knew the task was going to be daunting but I have fought against corruption, and sponsored 16 ethics reform bills that have been signed into law. Today, we add four more bills to that list – four more ways to end the culture of corruption in New Jersey.”

Governor Corzine signed into law the following bills:

* S-1318, also known as the “The Public Corruption Profiteering Penalty Act,” allows the State Attorney General and county prosecutors to seek civil damages whenever an official is convicted of public corruption.

* S-1192 criminalizes the misuse of public resources to ensure tougher penalties whenever a corrupt politician tries to leverage public property for private gain.

* S-3008 prohibits members of the Legislature, as well as county and municipal elected officials from simultaneously holding an additional elective public office.

* S-1662 requires the Office of Legislative Services to make available to the public in electronic form a complete voting record, including individual votes by legislators, on all bills.

“Today’s bill signing demonstrates my commitment to cleaning up New Jersey government,” added Senator Karcher. “We’ve made enormous progress in banning pay-to-play, removing taxpayer funded pensions from convicted officials and imposing mandatory criminal sentences on corrupt politicians. We’re making government more transparent and accountable by putting legislators’ voting records online. Together, these bills will further chip away at New Jersey’s image as a haven for the corrupt.

“These new laws impose tough penalties and harsh consequences for politicians who would trade their office for a quick buck,” said Senator Karcher. “Elected officials will now think twice before violating the public trust and those who break the law will pay the price.”

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